Sarah’s Development blog – Week 12 – 3rd May
Another week had gone by. I’d been very busy working abroad and had been lucky enough to see Van Gogh’s paintings in Paris. Once in front of them, I’d instantly understood why he was regarded a master, and a master of colour at that. The exhibition also had extracts of his diary. These words had stayed with me: “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly coloured than the day.” He was of course referring to one of his most beautiful paintings, “Starry Night”, when he seemed to be seeing infinity, whole galaxies even, the colour of energies swirling, the sacred mystery and geometry of the spiral. He was seeing God.
But why did this phrase stay with me? I would soon learn, along with the realisation that there are no coincidences in this world.
Absolutely exhausted from my travels, I’d spent most of the afternoon in bed, just quickly popping out to the shop before the circle began. In the shop, I’d noticed the world seemed heightened, the colours brighter, as if the air was vibrating a little, teeming with a hidden light. I thought to myself I must be very tired, or worse, a migraine was looming. My brain also felt as if it wasn’t working properly. My mind seemed to be dissolving. Once I closed my eyes and slipped into the silence during the development circle, it was if the darkness was not darkness at all, but like a butterfly’s wing, appearing black but on closer inspection revealing a whole host of profoundly subtle iridescent colours, flickering, beckoning, as if tantalisingly revealing their edge before disappearing into another dimension. It was beyond beautiful, it was mysterious, and it was indeed as if “the night is more alive and more richly coloured than the day”.
The rainbow colours had returned. And I can’t rightly tell you that I was ‘seeing’ these colours, they were in me; I could ‘feel’ them. Is it possible to feel colour? Those who have synaesthesia would tell you, absolutely, yes, as would have Van Gogh, whose heightened vision helped liberate colour as an instrument of emotion in the history of art. But this wasn’t any human emotion I was feeling, because there was also that now familiar sense of spirit, my skull was tingling, the sign that something far vaster and expanded than I, was now present. Colour communicated it far better than words. Later, at home, I remembered a dream that had stayed with me since my twenties, when a sense of a presence, a being who I could not see, had shown me colours projected into a screen, and I had woken up feeling refreshed, puzzled too that a mere dream could calm the storm of my twenty year-old self’s emotions. Or was it a dream? I pondered the coincidence of going to see Van Gogh and then this week’s experience in the circle. It felt guided.
I’ll leave you now with another of this visionary artist’s quotes, which sums it up not half as well as one of his pictures would. For that, go google Starry Night or The Church at Auvers-sur-Oise, and behold the beauty of the creation, my friend…
“I cannot help thinking that the best way to know God is to love many things”